Entertainment.ie: The Duckworth Lewis Method

A 2009 review of the debut Duckworth Lewis Method album from entertainment.ie

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The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method

4 Out Of 5 Stars

When Neil Hannon first announced his intention to record a concept album about cricket, it wasn’t the subject matter that came as a surprise; more than it had taken the Divine Comedy man so long to indulge his quirky humour with such a project. Teaming up with Thomas Walsh of underrated Irish indie-popsters Pugwash, Duckworth (Walsh) and Lewis (Hannon) have even synchronised the release of their debut to coincide with the beginning of the Ashes cricket series. (The name stems from a method of calculating the outcome of a one-day test match interrupted by bad weather or extraneous circumstances, by the way).

It’s obvious that both musicians are having a whale of a time by combining their sport of choice with their music of choice, but crucially, ‘The Duckworth Lewis Method’ shows no trace of being a vanity project - even if essentially, that’s what it is. Cheeky nods to legendary test matches of yore are mixed with halcyon childhood memories of non-existent Irish summers to grin-inducing effect.

Musically, it’s far from revolutionary, although these songs still maintain a certain self-assured swagger. Plodding pomp-pop based around piano and guitar, fused with nifty melodies and doused in a warm, hazy sheen is the order of the day, with lead single ‘The Age of Revolution’, the Beatles-like ‘Meeting Mr. Miandad’ and atmospheric ‘70s pop ballad ‘The Nightwatchman’ providing instant standouts on an album that gets better with every listen.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the voices of comedians Phill Jupitus and Matt Berry also make appearances, while a breathy female that sounds distinctly like Cathy Davey even pops up on glam-rock shaker ‘The Sweet Spot’. As side-projects go, this one is absolutely wicket.

entertainment.ie - Lauren Murphy

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